Monday, February 4, 2008

Vibrant Earth Jewels

Born and raised in Baltimore, I spent my early years in Towson, finally making my way to downtown Baltimore at 19. I’ve held a variety of positions in my career – from assistant clothing buyer at Merry-Go-Round, to settlement counselor at a major housing developer, to legal secretary at multiple law firms. All along the way, I’ve nurtured my creativity at every opportunity and somewhere in there began making jewelry. I did one of my very first shows in Fells Point in 1990.

While designing and making jewelry was certainly fun, it just wasn’t paying the bills. So I continued to bide my time in various office positions, until 1996. That was when I opened a little shop in Fells Point on Aliceanna Street called “Constance”. This is also when renting a shop cost a mere $450 a month! Boy, have times changed!

While operating the shop, I taught myself upholstery, pillow making and furniture refinishing. It was during this period that I became very interested in fabric and began making pillows like crazy! Tapping into my instinctive talent for interior aesthetics, I became a preferred designer and fabricator of unique decorative pillows for a number of Baltimore shops, including Nouveau. I also created custom pillows for various interior designers.

Then the market in the Point went flat and everyone began closing up shop. Luckily, for me that’s also when I married my sweetie. Very soon after that we learned I was pregnant with my daughter. After moving from Butchers Hill to Lauraville, I responded again to my intensely creative drive, and began creating decorative tassels made from antique salt and pepper shakers. Also driven by my strong desire to show my work, I took those designs on the road.

For a good while, I was doing at least 3 shows a month, which, with a youngin’, became too grueling to sustain. I went back to making jewelry and began selling my work on eBay. I had a really great run in that arena, sending my work all over the world – quite exhilarating! I found out about Etsy in the fall of 2006, and put some things on, but didn’t really establish anything until fall of 2007. It’s been interesting, sometimes frustrating for me, but I’m determined to continue!

Along with making jewelry, now that my daughter is school-age, I sit on the board of directors at City Neighbors Charter School as the director of fund raising. This is a challenging, and incredibly fulfilling position. My committee has been able to achieve their 2007-2008 budget goal 6 months ahead of schedule!

Things that inspire me: my garden, raising butterflies, searching for, and finding 4-leaf clovers (it drives my husband crazy because he can’t ever seem to find one!), learning new crafts and rekindling old ones, my incredibly supportive friends, my cat Jasper, my jazz-playing, musician husband, and the biggest inspiration of all – my daughter.

As luck would have it, my life has circled back around, and I’ll be opening a little boutique on the second floor of the Red Canoe on Harford Road in Lauraville in the very near future.

posting by Vibrant Earth Jewels


Felicia said...

Congratulations on your new shop. What an inspirational story of your crafting journey. Thank you for sharing it :)

Juliet said...

What a sweet necklace! Good Luck with the shop!